Testicular adrenal rest tumor screening and fertility counseling among males with congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Chaudhari, M.; Johnson, E. K.; DaJusta, D.; Nahata, L.

J Pediatr Urol. 2018 Jan 14

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Reduced fertility is a common potential problem among males with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), with nearly half experiencing impaired sperm production. The major cause of oligo/azoospermia in CAH is testicular adrenal rest tumors (TARTs). Studies indicate that ultrasound screening for TARTs should begin during childhood, yet it remains unclear whether boys with CAH are routinely screened for TARTs and/or counseled about infertility risk and potential interventions such as fertility testing and/or preservation. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine TART screening and fertility counseling practices among boys with CAH. STUDY DESIGN: An IRB-approved retrospective chart review was conducted of all males with ICD-9/10 codes for CAH (2007-2016) at a large pediatric academic center to examine: age and indication for diagnosis; age at first and last documented pediatric endocrinology and urology visit; history of ultrasound examinations; and documentation of fertility counseling. RESULTS: Forty-six patients were included, of whom 38 had 21-hydroxylase deficiency. Median age at diagnosis was 2 weeks (range 7 days-10 years). Median age at the most recent pediatric endocrinology clinic visit was 14 years (range 2-42 years). Twenty-nine patients were >11 years old (63% of the sample) at the time of the study and 14 of these were >18 years old (30% of the sample). Seven patients (15%) had a screening ultrasound at some point in their care, of whom three had TARTs. Fertility was mentioned in the records of six subjects (13% of the sample). Six of the subjects (13%) had any mention of fertility in their records. None of the patients had biochemical testing or semen analysis to assess gonadal function, and none were offered fertility preservation. Only one patient was seen by a pediatric urologist. DISCUSSION: Despite the limitations of a single-center retrospective design, our findings highlight that TART screening and fertility counseling remain underutilized in boys with CAH. There is a need for increased awareness and development of practice guidelines within pediatric urology and endocrinology to address this common and understudied problem. CONCLUSION: In addition to a screening ultrasound in puberty and consideration of semen analysis after puberty, these boys may benefit from seeing a pediatric urologist independently or in an interdisciplinary program. Boys with CAH and their families should be educated about infertility risk and potential interventions, with the goal of improving reproductive outcomes in this population.

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